There's not much amusing about an automobile accident, but my friend Jean's accident - it had a little smile at the end of it at least. She got hit in the right rear door of her car, and her daughter's head actually broke the glass in the passenger side window. Jean's glasses went flying, and thank the Lord there was no serious injury. The police looked at the car, and they said, "Well, it's OK to drive." They knew that. She knew that, but apparently the computerized monitor in the dashboard didn't know that because all the way home this computer voice kept saying, "Right door is open. Fuel level is low." Actually, the right door was damaged, but no, it wasn't open. And the voice insisted, "Fuel level is low." She had just filled the car with gas! The gauge was on "F" for "Full." Poor Jean! She took a hit and then she started getting all kinds of wrong messages.
My friend's experience actually models some of our own - when we take a hit in our life. Maybe your life has been abruptly interrupted by a tragedy, a loss, a sudden disappointment, maybe a betrayal or an illness. In some way, one of life's "heavies" has ploughed into you, and that's when you start to hear all these wrong messages in your heart.
Our word for today from the Word of God is Psalm 119:25. David said, "I am laid low in the dust, preserve my life according to your Word." Verse 28, "My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your Word." Verse 49 says, "Remember your Word to your servant for you have given me hope." Verse 50, "My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life." See, David is saying basically, "When my heart is hurting, my spirit is doubting, my feelings are crashing, I hold onto your Word, Lord - like a drowning person clings desperately to a life preserver." And when you've been hit, you start hearing a lot of wrong messages in your soul. Maybe you're hearing them right now. Maybe you're believing them: "God doesn't care." "Look at what's happened." "You don't have any reason to go on!" "Well, you can't live without what you lost, man." "Hey, you might as well just quit trying, huh?" Or, "Get even!" "Be bitter." Or, "God can't use you any more, not after this!" Lies - those are just lies! But your feelings have lied to you before haven't they? Thousands of times!
Take David's advice. As soon as you get hit, dive into the Bible. You may not feel like it, but that's when you need to do it the most! Ask God to hug you with His Word, to hold you, to support you, to "give you hope," like the verse said. Memorize the verses that give you hope. Quote them when the feelings come and answer the lie with God's truth. Remember, "Your promise, Lord, preserves my life." While that voice was saying to my friend Jean, "fuel level low" the gauge was telling the truth.
God's words recorded in your Bible are the gauge that will expose the lies that your confused emotions are trying to tell you. Don't believe the lies. Let God's voice, through His wonderful Word, override all those obnoxious messages. Ron Hutchcraft
-- Nat King Cole - February 15, 1965 Born March 17, 1919 Singer and Actor. He is best remembered for his 28 gold records, including Sweet Lorraine, Ramblin' Rose, and Mona Lisa. He also appeared in 28 films and television stories, usually playing himself, including Cat Ballou, and Breakfast in Hollywood. In 1939, he formed the King Cole Trio, after a publicist put a tinfoil crown on his head and proclaimed him "King." He later toured Europe and made a command performance before Queen Elizabeth II. He had a television show during the 1960s. He met his wife, Maria, at the Zanzibar Nightclub in Los Angeles, where she was a singer, and they married in 1948. He started smoking to generate revenue from television ads promoting tobacco, and this unfortunately led to his lung cancer, the cause of his death. Daughter Natalie also became a famous singer.
-- Stan Laurel - February 23, 1965 Born June 16, 1890 Legendary comic actor, he found his greatest success when paired with equally legendary Oliver Hardy. In 1907, he joined a traveling group of actors as a bit player, becoming the understudy of the group's star performer, actor Charlie Chaplin. When the group broke up, he went into vaudeville, and in 1917, he won a small bit role in the Hollywood film, Nuts in May (1917), deciding to stay in the United States. Although he acted in a short film, A Lucky Dog (made in 1917 but not released until 1921) with actor Oliver Hardy, their chemistry together was not recognized until 1925. Once their potential was recognized, the pair worked together on hundreds of films, becoming lifelong friends. Their best work together is considered to be The Music Box (1931), which won an Oscar for Best Comedy Short Subject. The film Flying Deuces is considered one of their most famous movies.
William Taft was the largest president at 6 feet 2 inches tall and 326 pounds.
James Madison was the shortest president at 5 feet 4 inches.
Andrew Johnson #17
He was the first president to be visited by a queen. Queen Emma of the Sandwich Islands came to America on August 14, 1866. Johnson was buried beneath a willow he had planted himself with a shoot taken from a tree at Napolean's tomb. His head was rested on a copy of the Constitution.
Woodrow Wilson #28
He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1920 for his efforts in seeking peace after World War I and supporting the League of Nations. A flock of sheep was raised on the White House lawn during Wilson's term. The wool was used to raise money for the Red Cross during World War I.
Dwight D. Eisenhower #34
Eisenhower was the first president of all 50 states and the first president to appear on color television. He was also responsible for putting 'under God' into the Pledge of Alliegence.
Since the start of the Danish cartoon controversy, Vatican officials have expressed sympathy with Islamic outrage over the depictions of Muhammad. This sympathy comes from knowing what it's like to have your beliefs treated with disrespect and even contempt. Yet in much of the Islamic world, that sympathy isn't a two-way street.
That's why the Vatican recently issued a statement "urging Islamic countries to reciprocate by showing more tolerance toward their Christian minorities." As Angelo Soldano, the Vatican's Secretary of State put it: "If we tell our people they have no right to offend, we have to tell the others they have no right to destroy us . . . "
Destroy is not too strong a word. The anger originally directed at Denmark is increasingly being directed at Christians. In Turkey, a priest was murdered in an attack that the Turkish media has connected to the cartoon controversy. In Pakistan, protesting mobs have ransacked churches and beaten Christians. In Beirut, which, unlike Pakistan, has a large Christian population, a Christian neighborhood was attacked by a Muslim mob.
By far the worst attacks have occurred in Nigeria. In the state of Borno, attacks left as many as fifty-one Christians dead, including a priest. The Christian property destroyed included at least six churches, both Catholic and Protestant, the Bishop's home, and a Christian bookstore.
The rioters, who went on a rampage after hearing a Muslim cleric denounce the cartoons, sent a clear message with their choice of targets: These are our true enemies, the Christians. This led to a deplorable, yet predictable, response: Nigerian Christians retaliated against Muslims, killing one and burning a mosque. This is tragic.
And where Christians aren't under physical attack, they still face restrictions that far exceed the ones being decried by Muslim protesters. These restrictions, which have been chronicled on "BreakPoint," include bans on public and, in Saudi Arabia, even private worship.
This lack of reciprocity, along with the violence in places like Nigeria and Pakistan, has the usually-conciliatory Vatican saying, "Enough!" Pope Benedict told the Moroccan ambassador that peace requires a reciprocal "respect for the religious convictions and practices of others . . . "
Other Vatican officials were even sharper. The Secretary of its supreme court told an Italian newspaper, "Enough now with this turning the other cheek! It's our duty to protect ourselves."
His frustration arises from the well-founded doubts that the West will do anything about Muslim persecution of Christians. He noted that "half a century" of relations with "Arab countries" had not produced "the slightest concession on human rights."
Sadly, he's right. While countries like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are cited for their violations of religious freedom, there are not any sanctions. So, the message is that we are not really serious about freedom and democracy.
Without religious freedom, efforts to spread democracy are futile, because societies that don't respect the rights of religious minorities cannot be expected to respect any other human rights. What this tragic turn of events really proves is that, contrary to the politically correct wisdom of our day, not all worldviews or religions are alike. And the differences really matter—just ask the Christians living in the Islamic world.